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Lacemaking Museum

The Municipal Museum of Bobbin Lace and Blonde arises as a public acknowledgment of a craftwork deeply rooted in Almagro and some nearby municipalities of the Campo de Calatrava  over hundreds of years. The establishment of this Museum became a reality in June 2004, thanks to the efforts and determination of the City Council and the numerous donations and transfers from the local people, together with the incredible support of different institutions such as Tierra de Caballeros and the Tablas de Daimiel National Park Association or the Regional Government of Castilla La Mancha.

HISTORY OF THE BOBBIN LACE AND BLONDE

The bobbin lace has always been present in Western culture. However, it is not clear its origin, dissemination and marketing. Some critics consider that laces arrived to Almagro in the 16th century with the advent of the Flemings, and the King of Spain, Charles I from the Netherlands; instead, the truth is that the dissemination of this craftwork is intensified by the traditional wool linking of Castile to that region of Europe. 

The craftwork of lacemaking existed as paid work since the late 16th and early 17th centuries in the region of La Mancha, thus Cervantes in Don Quixote provides two quotes to bear this out: "What! can it be that a young hussy that hardly knows how to handle a dozen lace-bobbins dares to wag her tongue […]” or “ […]Sanchica is making bonelace; she earns eight maravedis a day clear, which she puts into a moneybox as a help towards house furnishing”.

The use of bobbin lace in clothing had its peak in the 17th century, as it could be seen in some works of Velázquez. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it will be particularly developed the use of the marvelous Blonde mantillas.

Bobbin lace has been present in everyday lives of rural women until the 20th century.  Its learning passed from moms to daughters who inherited their knowledge, own patters and designs. In the afternoon, the neighbours’ gathering, around a padded pillow for lacemaking in streets and patios, was a meeting place for rural women as well as a way for women to earn an income for the family economy.

According to Manolita Espinosa, a local writer, in her book “Encaje de bolillo y blonda en la ciudad de Almagro” the greatest boom of bobbin lace making was in the 18th century thanks to the establishment of an “industry to make thread and silk laces […] by  Manuel Fernández and his wife, Rita Lambert

During the 19th century, it is documented the existence of other bobbin lace industries which promoted and marketed Almagro’s bobbin lace and Blonde.

Nowadays, lacemaking is a recognized and well-known craftwork of Almagro, home of lacemaking, but other nearby towns of the Campo de Calatrava continue to make this handmade work.

THE MUSEUM

The municipal initiative arises to meet emerging needs from the richness of ethnographic heritage in Almagro and its projection over the Campo de Calatrava area.

obbin lace and Blonde represent incredible evidences of the survival of traditional and popular arts and occupations which exemplify additionally a tradition evoking their original contexts.

Thus, the City Council aims to recover its historical memory, preserve and spread it through the establishment of this Museum.

Current socioeconomic trends force us to design comprehensive municipal development strategies, where local resources and particularly those connected with our extraordinary cultural and natural heritage are driving forces in development policies.

The Municipal Museum of Bobbin Lace and Blonde has its own works, including a donation from the heirs of Toribio Martínez (a famous lace maker of the city) of an important collection of “picaos” (paper patterns marked out by pins). This collection consists of a variety of pieces of different forms and periods which show us the richness and diversity of forms and uses that has had this craftwork along the time.

In addition, it is shown a variety of manufactured bobbin lace pieces with different styles and patterns: the Alençon lace or point d’Alençon, point lace, Guipure lace, point ground, Breton lace, and so on. They used geometrical, floral, or animal motifs or decorations.

The collection also comprises a diversity of handmade works made on the lace pillow on silk, called Blonde. This Spanish technique is used to make scarfs, veils, fans, and the so-called mantilla of Almagro. 

Supplies and equipment used to make the lacemaking, such as padded pillows, “picaos” or paper patterns, bobbins and so forth are the last part of your visit.

Opening hours:

From January 1st to March 26th

and

from October 2nd to December 31th

From March 27th to July 2rd

and

from July 31th to October 1st

From 3rd to 30thof July

From Tuesday to Friday

Saturday

Sunday

From Tuesday to Friday

Saturday

Sunday

From Monday to Friday

Saturday

Sunday

10:00 to 14:00

16:00 to 19:00

10:00 to 14:00

16:00 to 18:00

11:00 to 14:00

10:00 to 14:00

17:00 to 20:00

10:00 to 14:00

17:00 to 19:00

11:00 to 14:00

10:00 to 14:00

18:00 to 21:00

10:00 to 14:00

18:00 to 20:00

11:00 to 14:00

Last admission 10 minutes before closing.

- Opening hours may be subject to change without prior notice.

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Prices

Ticket prices:

- General price: € 2,00

- Reduced price: € 1,50

- Ticket including visit to 6 monuments (Corral de Comedias, Church of San Agustín, Cloister of the Monastery of the Asunción, Palace-House of Juan Xedler -Fúcares-, Municipal Theatre and Lacemaking Museum):

  • General price, € 9,00 - Reduced price: € 6,50
  • With theatrical visit: € 12,00 – Reduced price: € 8,50

- Prices may be subject to change without prior notice.

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30 / May / 2017

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ALMAGRO TOURISM. Meeting point for travelers and tourism and travel professionals. An exceptional showcase for everything related to tourism in Almagro. Tourism and Entrepreneurship Promotion Council Department and Local Development and New Technologies Agency, City Council of Almagro.
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Contact us (If you would like to contact us please use the details given below for telephone, fax and email)
Ejido de Calatrava s/n
13270 Almagro · Ciudad real · España
turismo@ciudad-almagro.com
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Tel: 926 86 07 17
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